Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Dog attacks will surge if buffer goes

Recent stories

Member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, fears farms in the Upper Murray will again be under constant threat from wild dogs if the rules for trappers are watered down.

On Tuesday night in the Victorian Parliament, Mr Tilley called on the Agriculture Minister to visit the region and hear from the landholders who lived through the carnage of the early 2000s.

At threat is a three-kilometre livestock buffer zone that was first put in place in 2010 to deal with ongoing stock losses.

The zone allows the state’s wild dog controllers to bait, trap and shoot wild dogs on public land within three kilometres of the farm fence.

However, the orders relating to the buffer expire on October 1st this year and Mr Tilley is concerned that if they are diluted or not renewed, landholders will experience a surge in wild dog numbers.

“Those who have lived through the torment and the terror before the buffer zone was implemented say it has proven to have saved livestock and protected humans,” Mr Tilley told the Parliament.

“They tell stories of sleeping in swags for six weeks to protect their livestock. One farmer lost 200 sheep in a six-week stretch – animals torn apart, others left with their insides dragging along the ground, livestock slaughtered for the thrill of the kill.

“They can show you the pictures. I can show you the pictures. I can show you live footage.”

Mr Tilley is concerned that minority groups may influence the decision, some claiming all wild dogs are dingoes and should be protected.

“Already you will be hearing opposing voices with the Australian Dingo Foundation and others talking up nonlethal methods of wild dog control that include additional fencing, Maremma dogs and alpacas.

“Landholders will tell you that they do not work. They can provide evidence of alpacas killed by dogs and video footage of dogs navigating around fencing and traps.

“Without the buffer the trappers will be limited to private land and the dogs free to attack from the bush boundary at will.

“Please, Minister, these are your dogs coming from your land – our land. “We need the buffer to maintain the status quo and these people can tell you why.”

The National Wild Dog Action Plan, released in 2020, supports the conservation of protected dingoes in Victoria’s national parks while limiting the impacts of wild dogs on neighbouring properties.

Under the plan, the 3km perimeter livestock protection zone limits wild dogs moving onto private land killing livestock and equally limits domestic dogs moving into the vast national parks and breeding with the protected dingo.

“Farmers continue to deal with stock losses from wild dog attacks but say without the buffer it will escalate dramatically,” Mr Tilley said.

Corryong Courier 3 August 2023

This article appeared in the Corryong Courier, 3 August 2023.


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